Tina Turner unlikely to ever perform again – documentary makers

Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
·3-min read

Tina Turner is unlikely to ever perform again, according to the directors of a new documentary about the music superstar.

The musician, 81, retired after a sold-out farewell tour, which ended in 2009, and the film, entitled Tina, is billed as a way of saying goodbye to her fans.

Directors TJ Martin and Daniel Lindsay, who won an Oscar for their 2011 documentary Undefeated, combined hours of archive footage of Turner with contemporary interviews in which she reflects on her life.

It comes after Turner quit the United States to become a Swiss national and later unveiled a Broadway and West End show, Tina-The Tina Turner Musical.

Lindsay told the PA news agency: “When we did our first interview with her that was the first thing we talked about.

“It’s near the end of the film that she says ‘How do you bow out slowly, just go away?’

“She has lived a remarkable life obviously but she views her career as work and when she retired in 2009, that was it for her.

“She’s not someone who is going to come back and do another show.

Tina Turner in concert – Dublin
Tina Turner on stage in 2009 (Niall Carson/PA)

“Never say never, but she feels very content in her life now and I think the documentary really comes out of the musical, in deciding to do the musical it brought up a lot of memories and then she thought ‘Let’s do this, let me put some closure on all of this.'”

Martin added: “I think this chapter of her life is fundamentally very different, in terms of whether she’s actually achieved that sense of peace with her past I think that is probably a better question for Tina.

“My instinct says that it’s a process and I think it’s hard to quantify if being a participant in this film and in the musical are major variables in getting to that place, maybe they do help her feel like she closed the door but now she’s in that process of acceptance.”

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Photocall – London
Tina Turner at the launch of the West End musical (Ian West/PA)

The film uses archive audio recorded while Turner was writing her book I, Tina, to chronicle the years of abuse she received at the hands of ex-husband Ike Turner and Martin said: “I just think there are parts of her where she’s not trying to go into the depths of her pain with the intent to try to discover or figure something out.

“I think in her eyes she’s moved on past that and there is no reason to revisit it.

“The thing that we were really conscious of is not wanting to do is re-traumatise her by bringing the past to her and we were really fortunate that we had an amazing archivist who was able to amass enough materials, specifically the tapes from I, Tina, where she really detailed a lot of the abuse.

“So for us it was really the way in which we can respectfully go into that space with her now is by getting her perspective on it and not having her revisit it by telling these very specific accounts.

“Then once we we created that space and way of navigating it made it much easier to explore some of the more difficult parts of her life.”

Tina will air on Sky Documentaries and Now TV on March 28 and 9pm and will be available via altitude.film.